A Russian commander captured by Ukraine condemned Moscow’s “genocide” invasion — saying in a outstanding televised assertion that the troops had been duped into believing Kyiv had been overthrown by Nazis and wanted liberating.
Nationwide Guard Lt. Col. Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich, who was captured together with two different troopers, mentioned he had been instructed they had been being despatched to assist Ukraine as a result of it was “dominated by a fascist regime” and that “nationalists and Nazis had seized energy.”
“Clearly, this info was unilateral info,” Mikhailovich instructed reporters in a video that emerged Monday.
The colonel mentioned his doubts had been additional confirmed when he came upon that his favourite boxers, Ukrainians Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, deliberate to combat for the resistance.
The captive begged for “mercy” from Ukrainians and mentioned he was able to “go to jail” for collaborating within the brutal offensive.
“I really feel disgrace that we got here to this nation,” the colonel mentioned. “I don’t know why we had been doing it. We knew little or no. We introduced sorrow to this land.”
Telling reporters that he was talking freely, the high-ranking officer apologized to the Ukrainian residents, who’ve come beneath direct fireplace by the invading forces.
“I can’t discover the phrases to express regret to the Ukrainian individuals,” Mikhailovich mentioned, including he would perceive if Russia was by no means forgiven.
The POW additionally urged Ukraine to let Russian troops reside.
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“A lot of them are simply embarrassed. They don’t need warfare,” the downcast man mentioned.
“I simply sincerely hope on your mercy towards these individuals who come to you with their fingers up, or those that are wounded. We must always not sow dying — it’s higher to sow life,” he mentioned.
Mikhailovich urged his troops to “be courageous” and oppose their commanders.
“You’re in a tense scenario, going in opposition to your individual commander. However that is genocide,” he mentioned. “Russia can’t win right here anyway. Even when we go till the very finish. We will invade the territory however we can’t invade the individuals.”
Footage of Mikhailovich and different captured Russian troopers has raised questions on whether or not Ukraine is violating the Geneva Conventions, which offer POWs with protections.
Based on Article 13: “Prisoners of warfare should always be protected, significantly in opposition to acts of violence or intimidation and in opposition to insults and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal in opposition to prisoners of warfare are prohibited.”
Andrew Stroehlein, a human rights activist who serves as European media director of Human Rights Watch, said in a tweet that “humiliating or making POWs a topic of public curiosity or ridicule is strictly prohibited by the legal guidelines of warfare.
“Though it might appear in some movies that POWs are free to talk as they need, they’re held captive by one other navy drive, and it’s virtually unimaginable to evaluate from one video the circumstances they face,” he wrote.
Stroehlein mentioned “this prohibition protects households of troopers again of their house nation who might face retaliation whether it is identified that their relations have been captured.
“These guidelines apply equally to #Ukrainian forces that seize Russian troopers, and #Russian forces that seize Ukrainian troopers,” he added.